gratified, to observe such a proof in her of strengthened character, and refrained from any allusion that might endanger its maintenance. They spoke, therefore, of Mrs. Churchill’s death with mutual forbearance.

Short letters from Frank were received at Randall’s, communicating all that was immediately important of their state and plans. Mr. Churchill was better than could be expected; and their first removal, on the departure of the funeral for Yorkshire, was to be to the house of a very old friend in Windsor, to whom Mr. Churchill had been promising a visit the last ten years. At present, there was nothing to be done for Harriet; good wishes for the future were all that could yet be possible on Emma’s side.

It was a more pressing a concern to show attention to Jane Fairfax, whose prospects were closing, while Harriet’s opened, and whose engagements now allowed of no delay in any one at Highbury, who wished to show her kindness—and with Emma it was grown into a first wish. She had scarcely a stronger regret than for her past coldness; and the person whom she had been so many months neglecting, was now the very one on whom she would have lavished every distinction of regard or sympathy. She wanted to be of use to her; wanted to show a value for her society, and testify respect and consideration. She resolved to prevail on her to spend a day at Hartfield. A note was written to urge it. The invitation was refused, and by a verbal message.

“Miss Fairfax was not well enough to write;” and when Mr. Perry called at Hartfield, the same morning, it appeared that she was so much indisposed as to have been visited, though against her own consent, by himself, and that she was suffering under severe headachs, and a nervous fever to a degree, which made him doubt the possibility for her going to Mrs. Smallridge’s at the time proposed. Her health seemed for the moment completely deranged


-appetite quite gone- and though there were no absolutely alarming symptoms, nothing touching the pulmonary complaint, which was the standing apprehension of the family, Mr. Perry was uneasy about her. He thought she had undertaken more than she was equal to, and that she felt it so herself, though she would not own it. Her spirits seemed overcome. Her present home, he could not but observe, was unfavorable to a nervous disorder:-confined always to one room;-he could have wished it otherwise-and her good aunt, though his very old friend, he must acknowledge to not be the best companion for an invalid of that description. Her care and attention could not be questioned; they were, in fact, only too great. He very much feared from them. Emma listened with the warmest concern; grieved for her more and more, and looked around eager to discover some way of being useful. To take her-be it only an hour or two- from her aunt, to give her change of air and scene, and quiet rational conversation, even for an hour or two, might do her good; and the following morning she wrote again to say, in the most feeling language she could command, that she would call for her in the carriage at an hour that Jane could name-mentioning that she had Perry’s decided opinion, in favour of such exercise for his patient. The answer was only in this short note:

“Miss Fairfax’s compliments and thanks, but is quite unequal to any exercise.”

Emma felt that her own note had deserved something better; but it was impossible to quarrel with words, whose tremulous inequality showed indisposition so plainly, and she thought only of how she might best counteract this unwillingness to be seen or assisted. In spite of the answer, therefore, she ordered the carriage, and drove to Mrs. Bate’s, in the hope that Jane would be induced to join her—